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Old 30th July 2012, 03:58 PM   #11
Magz is offline Magz  United States
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Hmmm, sounds like a USB card is the way to go, with the smallest laptop I can find (size-wise) to make up for having two boxes.

That ought to take care of my non-critical measurement needs. Thanks for the help everyone!
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Old 3rd September 2012, 05:48 AM   #12
Magz is offline Magz  United States
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Well thought I'd check back in - the E-MU 0204 was a huge bust! They claim it works with Windows 7, but not on my laptop (Dell Inspiron 15R, Core i7). Once the driver software is installed, the laptop freezes constantly and not even task manager can get me out of it, have to power down completely. I messed around with it all day and determined that the E-MU drivers are definitely the problem. I even re-imaged the entire computer thinking I may have had some corrupted system files, but as soon as the E-MU stuff went back in...CRASH.

It's on its way back to Amazon.
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Old 3rd September 2012, 07:00 AM   #13
1audio is offline 1audio  United States
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As you have discovered most internal sound cards are pretty poor. I did get decent results from the internal audio in a Dell XPS M1330 but not up to high performance audio for what you are after. Win 7 is a major roadblock since the audio subsystem has been completely redesigned and works very differently. The E-Mu card works OK on XP and can get decent measurements with care. Perhaps you should set up for dual boot with a 32 bit XP partition for audio measurements. You can then optimize it for audio by removing unnecesary junkware and shutting down drivers you don't need. There is a program called fidelizer I think that does just this when you need it. In the long run you will have weeks of your life back . . .

You will still need some sort of interface to match levels and dynamic range to the limits of the sound card inputs. There is Samuel Groner's listed on this forum and there is a probe with an audio connector on eBay for starters.
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Old 3rd September 2012, 04:28 PM   #14
Magz is offline Magz  United States
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Plan B is to just use the interface that is recommended by TrueRTA, which is the audio analysis software I have. The interface is the Behringer UCA202, and it's about as simple as you can get, 2 RCA in and out and a USB plug (about $30 on Amazon, so no big risk). Not high resolution but all I really NEED to do at this point in time is take audio band frequency response measurements for the new preamp I'm building. I have a good scope and function generator for the other stuff like square wave testing.

I don't have a lot of time to fool around with other options. My hobby is building tube audio gear, not test equipment. I just want my tools to work when I need them then go back in the drawer, like a screwdriver or a hole punch. Computers don't seem to be there quite yet...
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Old 3rd September 2012, 04:35 PM   #15
Pano is online now Pano  United States
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I use laptops all the time for measurements with varying results. One of the problems with my older HP laptop is interrupts. It gets busy doing other things and drops audio. Turning off Wi-Fi helps.

Some more recent laptops don't seem to drop audio, including my little HP netbook that runs Windoze 7 Starter. I use the M-Audio band USB cards. USB cards all seem to be limited to 48KHz full duplex, or 96Khz one way. 24 bit is possible. Firewire gets around this problem. Maybe there will be some faster USB cards out soon.
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Old 3rd September 2012, 04:45 PM   #16
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My old M-Audio Transit is like a better-quality version of the Behringer UA202, but it's not made any more. It also is limited to 48kHz sampling in full duplex. My more expensive E-MU 0404 USB is happy to run full-duplex at 96kHz sampling with the latest Windows 7 driver, but E-MU seem to have withdrawn this excellent unit from the market!
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Old 4th September 2012, 11:28 AM   #17
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hi , i have a minidsp , laptop and pc both dual core 2Ghz 3gb memory , do you know any solution for mesurements (mainly frequency response) board + microphone under 200$ ?
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Old 6th September 2012, 10:52 AM   #18
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do you guys know if the asus sonar essence st provides phantom power to the microphone ?
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Old 6th September 2012, 11:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magz View Post
Hmmm, sounds like a USB card is the way to go, with the smallest laptop I can find (size-wise) to make up for having two boxes.

That ought to take care of my non-critical measurement needs. Thanks for the help everyone!
How small do you want to go? Raspberry Pi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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